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Chick-fil-A to replace closed Round the Clock restaurant in Lansing

LANSING, Ill. (December 30, 2023) – Grilled chicken nuggets and waffle potato fries could soon be a reality for village residents. Plans are in the works for a Chick-fil-A restaurant to come to Lansing.

The location would be at the southeast corner of Torrence and the frontage road, 176th St.

That is where a Round the Clock restaurant that has been closed since early 2022 sits, at 17601 Torrence Ave.

Signs that say “Closed for remodeling” and “Retail space available” are on the windows of the restaurant that would be razed to make room for Chick-fil-A.

“If all goes well, we would love to be open by latter part of next year,” said Jason Hill, director of development and construction for the Midwest Region for Chick-fil-A.

Plans, permits, and approvals

Hill and Joe Vavrina, the project manager and civil engineer for the project, addressed Lansing’s Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals on Dec. 27. They sought special use permits for drive-thru lanes and outdoor seating.

The outdoor seating would involve four tables with sixteen total seats.

Both permits were approved by votes of 8-0, with certain conditions, such as a review of landscaping plans and finalization of an easement agreement for the east portion of the property.

Commission chair Grace Bazylewski said the matter will now go to the Village Board for approval. That is expected to occur on Jan. 16.

Hurdles and opportunities

Other hurdles for Chick-fil-A to clear include settling on a lease agreement, obtaining permits, going through the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, and choosing a local owner-operator for the restaurant.

If things go according to plan, an almost 5,200-square-foot Chick-fil-A restaurant will be built at the site.

“This facility will have a full two-lane drive thru,” Vavrina said. “Not all Chick-fil-A’s in the area do, but you’re starting to see a lot more that do have this full two-lane drive-thru, which was really an innovation that came out of COVID and really has greatly improved the efficiency of the drive-thru lane.”

Vavrina said the site will be attractively landscaped with varieties of trees, shrubs, and ornamental grasses.

“The building itself is an all-brick building,” Vavrina said. “Light tan brick on top, darker tan brick on the bottom.”

A 15-foot tall monument sign with a manual reader board is proposed for the site.

Hill said the new restaurant will be different than many others built in the midwest until recently. It will be set up with the ability to have multiple service channels.

“The interior of it has been designed to also handle mobile orders and curbside orders and third party delivery orders and things of that nature that have really spiked since COVID happened in 2020.”

Hill estimated the cost of the project to be in the neighborhood of $2 million.

Chick-fil-A policy

Bazylewski asked if the restaurant would be open seven days a week.

It is Chick-fil-A company policy for its restaurants to be closed on Sunday. That policy was started by founder Truett Cathy so employees could use the day for rest, worship, and to spend time with family.

Bazylewski mentioned there had been coverage in the media about Chick-fil-A possibly moving toward being open on Sunday. There has been recent talk in New York of a bill that would require restaurants at travel rest stops within the state to be open seven days a week.

“I don’t see a situation where we’d be open on Sunday,” Hill said.

Choosing Lansing

Hill said a Lansing store would fill a void for Chick-fil-A.

“Our closest one is Homewood and Schererville,” Hill said. “We’ve got a gap in the market here, and Lansing has a great presence, a great community.”

Hill also mentioned the Lansing location’s convenient access to the expressway.

“We expect to get a good combination of business from the interstate as well as in the local community within Lansing,” Hill said.

Hill said Chick-fil-A is famous for both good food and good hospitality.

“We have approximately 3,000 locations nationwide and then a handful in Canada and a handful in Puerto Rico as well,” Hill said.

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Paul Czapkowicz
Paul Czapkowicz
Paul Czapkowicz has served as a correspondent for the Northwest Indiana Times, so he is familiar with local politics, local business, and local goings-on in general. His training as a teacher gives him an innate sense of how to present facts in an organized and meaningful way, so readers gain understanding of complex subjects.

1 COMMENT

  1. While I think it is great to get a Chick-fil-A in our community, given the relatively small footprint that the former Round the Clock restaurant has, combined with its location, can cause potential traffic nightmares around there especially given the popularity of Chick-fil-A. As for being closed on Sunday, I hope that never changes.

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